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When applying to a college, the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and American College Tests (ACT) are huge factors in determining college acceptance.
Last month, a few juniors from Sacred Hearts Academy took the SAT, along with other juniors from around the country.
To prepare for the test, students may take SAT prep classes or hire a private one-on-one tutor.
“The SAT was one of the hardest tests that I took in my life,” junior Angelyne Loiselle said. “I suggest studying at least a month before your test date and taking a prep class.”
The Academy is offering SAT prep classes to its students. Solutions Test Prep & Tutoring provides an SAT class, which goes from Feb. 22 to March 10.
The tutoring service is also offering a combo class for both SAT and ACT preparation. The class starts on Feb. 22 and extends to April 5.
“Any opportunity for a student to get prepared for the SAT or ACT is good,” Academy College Counselor Randy Fong said. “Solutions Test Prep & Tutoring has a good track record in improving students’ scores. They help by providing textbooks and handouts that inform the students on the best ways to take the tests.”
Last week, Sacred Hearts Academy juniors officially became upperclassmen through the annual Junior Ring ceremony. The ceremony has been a school tradition for more than 70 years.
Junior Madeleine Sing, who has been a student at the Academy since grade school, said that being an upperclassman will take some getting used to.
“The fact that we’re almost seniors is pretty scary,” she said. “But I’m extremely excited to spend my last memories in high school with the class of 2018.”
Prior to the ceremony, which occurs in the school chapel, students chose to receive either the traditional ring or the class pin. In addition to parents presenting their daughter with the class memorabilia, students also receive a rose from their class.
While some students are still trying to process this transition of becoming upperclassmen, others, like junior Alana Glaser, say this moment is one she has looked forward to for years.
“It is very special to come from a long legacy of Sacred Hearts Academy graduates,” she said. “I take great pride in the legacy; in fact, this year I was wearing my mother’s class ring until I received my own last night at the ceremony.”
Now that juniors are officially upperclassmen, they can look forward to events closing out their junior year. Upcoming events include next week’s service day at Papahana Kuaola Loi and junior prom at the end of April.
“I look forward to the future, though, and I know I will always value the friends and experiences,” Glaser said.
Sacred Hearts Academy seniors will take part in one of the last major events of their high school careers in April, as they prepare to dance the night away at senior prom.
This year’s prom theme is “From this Moment,” inspired by the live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
Prom committee member and senior Carlee Matsunaga said that there is much more to this event than the makeup and gowns.
“Everyone should really come and enjoy themselves because it is one of the last large events we have together as a division,” Matsunaga said.
The event will be on April 1 at The Modern Honolulu from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Students in attendance are expected to don formal wear. Tickets are priced at $75 and sales will run until March 10.
Matsunaga hopes that more seniors will be encouraged to attend prom.
“We want this to be an exciting event and a bonding experience, so the more of the division that attends, the better it will be,” she said.
The welcoming wags of a few furry visitors signaled the start to this year’s Science Symposium at Sacred Hearts Academy. The dogs were part of a veterinary medicine workshop, which allowed attendees to get a hands-on look into the world of veterinarians.
More than 300 fifth through eighth graders from about 100 schools participated in the annual event. Participants learned about different topics, such as robotics, marine biology, aviation and geology.
This year, the program was slightly different from prior years. Instead of having only a single session to explore a topic, students had the chance to stay for two sessions.
Robotics Goes First was among several workshops that extended for two different sessions. The Academy’s robotics teacher, Peter Park, taught the class.
“I think (the Science Symposium) was a success because I could see the many young girls that were inspired,” Park said. “(The robotics team) may have inspired (the participants) to be interested in robotics.”
While students were exploring different fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), parents attended their own workshops. They enjoyed a presentation by a panel of STEM experts.
Students from Maili Elementary and St. Joseph School were both shuttled to the Academy’s campus in Honolulu. According to event coordinator Rodney Chang, this showed that the school administrators have a strong reliance on STEM education.
Seventeen-year-old J. Reyes knew she was flirting with danger when downloading a dating app to her mobile phone. She was under the 18-year-old age restriction but says curiosity fueled her decision to pursue companionship in the virtual world and lie about her age.
“I was just bored and wanted to try it out for fun,” said Reyes, who is a high school senior. She requested her full name remain anonymous and explains how she created an account for Tinder, a dating app that connects users by their interests and GPS locations.Swipe-right trend on the rise
Reyes joins a growing number of Hawaii’s youth who are delving into the tap-and-swipe culture that dominates today’s dating scene. And while it’s an attractive idea for them, Hawaii cybercrime investigator Chris Duque said it is also a risk.
He referenced recent accounts, on separate occasions, in which two Hawaii teenagers were sexually assaulted by someone they have been communicating with online.
Reyes said she was aware of such dangers and took precautions when setting up her account.
“I created a separate email and Facebook account (which is how Tinder authenticates users),” she said. “I didn’t want my personal account and information to be seen by people I barely knew.”
With Tinder, users swipe right for “like” and left for “pass” to find matches with nearby Tinder users. After using the app for about a day, Reyes had already received more than a dozen dating matches; one of which she pursued to meet in person after a week of video chatting and text messaging.
“I was comfortable when we first met because my friends knew the guy, so it wasn’t as awkward,” said Reyes, who met up with the 19-year-old “Tinderfella,” as they’re called, at a beach near Diamond Head earlier this school year.
Duque, a former Honolulu Police Department officer who now works as a cybercrime investigator for the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, says Reyes was lucky her first meetup didn’t end up worse.
“When you do anything online, especially online dating, the devices and services you use serve as a mask,” he said. “You don’t know who you’re communicating (with) on the other side.”
A study by the Pew Research Center reports that 53 percent of teens have started friendships over the internet, while 8 percent have dated someone they first met online.
The pair had been on multiple dates since first meeting at the beach. Reyes said she did not encounter any uncomfortable or unsafe situations while in contact with this person.Dangers of online dating
Despite innocent intentions to meet new people, online dating platforms are notorious for perpetrators and predators because there is no way to verify a user’s age. There is also no way of preventing users from creating false profiles.
Of Tinder’s more than 50 million users, about 7 percent are between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
“Dating apps draw a specific type of clientele,” Duque said. “There are people who are in an emotional state, looking for some kind of affection or interaction. Predators and criminals feed on those emotionally handicapped this way.”
According to Duque, sexual assault, rape, sodomy and extortion are commonly seen cases among Hawaii youth looking for love online.
Alleged perpetrators could face jail time for engaging in sexual acts with a minor, while the underaged user might have his or her dating account deleted for violating the terms of service.
In addition to Tinder, teens are dabbling in the dating world with apps like, Bumble, MeetMe and Pure Dating, according to mobile parental control service Netsanity.Playing it safe
For teens who want to pursue online friendships, Duque advises that they play it safe. They should not only verify with trustworthy sources before meeting the person but also stick to traditional social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In a sense, he said, traditional social media apps prove to be of safer use because they provide a more transparent profile for those seeking to meet new people.
After using Tinder for several months, Reyes recently decided to end her online relationship. She also deleted the Tinder app from her mobile phone for the same reason she downloaded it–she got bored.
“My experiences have taught me that online dating is unrealistic, and I no longer want to involve myself in those types of (relationships),” she said and has not since used any other dating platform.Prevention starts with parents
Not all teens are able to come to the same conclusion as Reyes, which is why Hawaii state lawmakers are taking action.
State Sen. Will Espero, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, aims to increase domestic violence safety with a proposed legislation. This legislation would direct more funding toward the Attorney General’s office and other law enforcement that could help prevent internet crimes.
Until the legislation is passed, Duque advises parents to take the lead. The first step would be to monitor their child’s mobile device use, ensuring their child is not using such devices in the bathroom or alone in a bedroom.
Parents should also be vigilant of unusual behavior and encourage an open discussion with their children about internet use.
The use of mobile devices is a privilege and not a right for youth, Duque said. He emphasizes that “technology is a tool that young people need in their lives, but they need to use it correctly and safely so they don’t get hurt.”
The sounds of joyful chorus filled Sacred Hearts Academy’s St. Mary Margaret’s Chapel early Friday evening, as the LIFE Team hosted the school’s first “Praise and Worship.”
Senior Shailyn Makana Wilson had an enjoyable experience while at the event.
“The experience I got at ‘Praise and Worship’ is really like no other feeling, and there is no real way to describe (it),” Wilson said. “It was really fun to be able to sing some of my favorite praise and worship songs with my friends.”
The “Praise and Worship” included many attendees, such as students from Kamehameha, Damien Memorial School and Waipahu High School, and their families. The teens spent the night dancing and singing along to the tunes of Refiner’s Worship, a New Christian band formed by parishioners from St. John Apostle and Evangelist Church.
With the support of those who attended, LIFE Team was able to donate $166 to Hoola Na Pua, a local organization with a mission to aid female victims of human trafficking.
Between songs, participants enjoyed brownies, cookies, hot dogs and juice, provided by the LIFE Team and fellowship.
Wilson believes that everyone should experience a “Praise and Worship.”
“I would definitely encourage people to go,” she said. “They should come because it really is an amazing experience. Once you start to sing the songs and see how everyone starts to interact with each other, you will not want to leave.”
For the first time in Lancer history, the Sacred Hearts Academy’s LIFE Team will be hosting a “Praise and Worship,” where community members come together to praise God in the form of music and fellowship.
The event, spearheaded by LIFE Team member and senior Adrianne Del Rosario, was inspired by this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme. “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
The “Praise and Worship” will be held on Feb. 10 in the Academy’s Chapel from 5 to 8 p.m. and features music from Refiner’s Worship, a band from St. John Apostle & Evangelist Church in Mililani.
This year, the Marianist LIFE has been focusing on “Human Trafficking.” Donations will be accepted during the worship and given to Hoola Na Pua, a local organization that “is committed to the renewal of trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy, and reintegration.”
Del Rosario hopes that people who attend will better understand the concept of a “Praise and Worship” event.
“It shows the importance of faith,” Del Rosario said. “It’s community bonding, where we praise the Lord.”
Everyone is welcome, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be available.
Connected in mind and nervous hearts, three Sacred Hearts Academy students went head-to-head with two high schools for an episode of “It’s Academic Hawaii.”
Hosted by Hawaii News Now’s Billy V, the game-show type program is meant to “be an academic showcase for our public and private high schools, in the hope of bringing the kind of acclaim generally reserved for football heroes to the arena of academic achievement,” according to the official website.
Seniors Janelle Lauronal, Kailanianna Ablog and junior Katherine Christian participated in the competition, testing out their wits alongside students from Kauai High School and Kalani High School.
Each episode features three teams from three different high schools. They answer trivia-type questions to earn points. The team that garners the most points by the end of the show advances to the next level, in the hopes of becoming the overall winner.
Lauronal remembers how her nervousness led her to an invaluable learning experience.
“In the beginning of filming, I was afraid of being judged for not answering correctly or for just being me,” Lauronal said. “As we filmed, though, I learned that we were all making mistakes, and in the end, no one cares that you answered something incorrectly.”
To prepare, the students practiced with flashcards, played the popular game “Jeopardy!” and watched previous episodes of the show.
Lauronal encourages fellow students to participate in the show.
“I think that the school should encourage more students to do this next year,” Lauronal said. “It’s a good experience that doesn’t take up a lot of time in your busy schedule.”
The Academy’s episode, along with other episodes filmed for season six, will air in May on KFVE.
Every year, Sacred Hearts Academy welcomes alumnae back to campus to share about their college experiences. This year, graduates from the class of 2013 to 2016 visited from universities from the east coast, west coast and Hawaii.
More than 40 graduates talked to the different high school divisions; 31 shared their experiences at mainland colleges, while 11 talked about what it is like to go to a college in Hawaii.
Students met with alumnae who graduated the year before them, allowing them to catch up with friends.
“I enjoyed seeing graduates of the Academy and (hearing about) their college journey,” junior Kacey Chong said. “It was nice to see my friends that have already graduated.”
Graduates were asked about the transition from an all-girls high school to a co-ed college. Academy students also asked about the types of struggles graduates have been through.
After the forum, participating alumnae were treated to a brunch in the conference room and given a chance to catch up with their former classmates.
Class of 2016 graduate Kelly Zhang said, “I liked the forum (when I was in high school) because it was helpful. It helped me prepare by having firsthand advice.”
Looking to earn high school and college credits at the same time?
Sacred Hearts Academy offers a dual-credit program with Leeward Community College, in which students can do just that.
The courses available next semester are Introduction to Political Science, Introduction to Psychology, Speech and Chinese.
“Each semester, or three units of an early college course, (yields) one full credit for (a student),” high school counselor Angela Dolan said. This opportunity is available for students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors. However, students must acquire at least a 3.0 GPA to enroll.
“It’s pretty easy; in fact, it’s almost like a regular (high school) class,” said sophomore Maaya Green, who is currently taking Speech 101. Achieving an excellent grade is simple, she said, as long as the student puts in a little extra effort.
“It’s a lot easier than an AP class, in my opinion,” Green said. She highly recommends other students apply to an early college course.
Depending on the course, classes will take place after school on Tuesday and Thursday or after school on Wednesday.
Students interested in enrolling should attend an informational meeting on Feb. 15 in the school’s Collaboration Room.
The junior class held its annual retreat at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Kalihi last week.
It is traditionally an event planned and led by students from the junior class. This is compared to the retreats of other grade levels, which are usually coordinated by the Living In Faith Experience (LIFE) Team.
The theme of this year’s retreat was “Ice Cream for J.O.Y.,” with the acronym “J.O.Y.” representing the phrase, “Jesus, Others, and Yourself.” Students participated in a variety of activities throughout the day, which included playing games, listening to music, providing personal testimonies and creating crafts.
Retreat coordinators and juniors Alana Glaser and Megan Mattison decided to gear the retreat towards self-improvement and reflection, in contrast with the popular retreat theme of strengthening class relationships.
“This is because we feel that our division is already closely knit,” Glaser said, “It was unnecessary for us to participate in extensive bonding activities. Instead, we chose to give our classmates the opportunity to come to understand and appreciate themselves as unique and valuable individuals. Our various activities allowed for inner thought and self-evaluation.”
Mattison had similar hopes for the class to focus on internal development and self reflection.
“My main goal for this retreat was for everyone to learn something new about themselves,” she said. “I wanted people to see that their flaws make them unique and that they can use what God has given them to make the world a better place. I really believe that almost everyone learned something new about themselves or their peers on the retreat.”
Junior Realesse Lumapas enjoyed the supportive ambience of the retreat and thought that it helped to reinforce the key messages of the day.
“There were a lot of great topics touched upon during retreat, such as loving our flaws and strengths,” Lumapas said. “I think everyone really needed to hear those things from, not only the leaders, but fellow classmates as well.”
For junior Katelyn Schmisseur, a new student this semester, the retreat provided her the opportunity for not only inward reflection but also new interpersonal relationships.
“It was really helpful having a retreat on my second day of school because it gave me a chance to meet people,” Schmisseur said. “It was so different than my old school because we would never do anything like this, and if we ever did, nobody would really participate. It was nice to see that the whole grade is comfortable with each other.”
The retreat for the junior class is typically an extended day retreat that ends at about 5 p.m.
President Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promises. Following his inauguration, which drew national attention for its seeming lack of attendants, Trump made quick work of starting on his lengthy agenda as Commander In Chief.He has confirmed to move forward with the development of the Dakota and Keystone XL pipelines.
During his administration, President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would have run from Canada to Nebraska. While in North Dakota, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline late last year, with the support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Both pipelines were said to have major environmental implications and threaten the drinking water of millions of people.
Trump has also signed orders provisioning the pipelines themselves to be built only in the U.S.Trump wants to put a tariff on Mexican imports to pay for the border wall, and the Mexican president wasn’t happy about it.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order at the Department of Homeland Security, paving the way for building of the border wall, the construction of which he hopes will ensue “within months.”
To fund this, he proposes a 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods. This recent announcement created tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, causing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his first meeting with Trump to discuss Republican demands that Mexico pay for the wall.
Also on Wednesday, he ended government funding of sanctuary cities and sites, which do not report undocumented immigrants, and ended the policy of “catch and release,” under which “some immigrants are released from detention, while they await a hearing with an immigration judge,” according to TIME Magazine.He put a freeze on federal hiring.
As part of his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again,” Trump signed an executive order to freeze government hiring, excluding “military, public safety, and public health,” angering many federal labor unions.
Many are criticizing this controversial move, arguing that it will “(decrease) service quality” of federal services and increase costs for the taxpayer; it forces the government to hire more expensive contractors to complete jobs that civilians previously did.
It is the second of six measures Trump plans to take to “clean up the corruption” in Washington, D.C.Trump plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
One of his first actions in office, completed not more than seven hours after his swearing-in ceremony, Trump signed an executive order for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and plans to replace it. This is pending the confirmation of his Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Trump may not completely change the Act, however. In his meeting with Obama in November, he mentioned that he liked two of its provisions: the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26 and the prohibition of insurers discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.He has reinstated the Mexico City policy.
Since 1984, the policy, whose provisions allow for government funding of institutions that perform abortions, is one that drifts between annulment and establishment with the changing of presidents. It is usually enacted during Democratic administrations and revoked by Republican ones.
Trump signed the order on Jan. 23, a day after the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, which is traditionally when new presidents take action on the regulation.He has signed an executive order on immigration that elicited strong reactions.
Trump’s most recent executive order blocked the citizens and refugees of seven countries, which are predominantly Muslim, from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In addition, it suspended all refugee admission into the country for 120 days.
Upon its signing, citizens of the seven countries, which included visitors as well as permanent U.S. resident green-card holders, were stopped at airports in the United States and abroad in places such as Cairo and Dubai. Some were sent back overseas and denied entry to the U.S.
This action in particular has sparked a tremendous reaction from the American people, including from Pres. Obama, who has endorsed protests of the executive order. Another vocal opponent of the immigration order was Sally Q. Yates, the acting U.S. attorney general, who was fired “just hours after she defied [Trump].”
Walking hand-in-sign last weekend, some members of the Lancer community took to the streets to march for women’s equality. They joined thousands across the nation in what became known as the Women’s March.
According to its organizers, the Women’s March’s vision is to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families–recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”
Sacred Hearts Academy teacher Chloe Smith attended the march in the hopes of making a positive mark on history.
“I felt it was an incredible opportunity to be a part of something big,” Smith said. “Standing up for women’s rights and equality is something I am very passionate about, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be involved in something so historical.”
The Women’s March began when Teresa Shook, a resident of Hawaii, took to Facebook the night of Election Day. She called for a “march on Washington,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Oahu march took place at the Hawaii State Capitol and saw many participants, including men, such as singer Max Schneider. He rallied alongside his wife during their visit to the islands.
The march began at 10 a.m. and concluded with a rally that featured entertainment, speakers and informational booths.
Smith encourages students, particularly at an all-girls school such as the Academy, to never be afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
“I would encourage (them) not only to march for women’s rights, but anything that they are passionate about,” Smith said. “If a student feels really strongly about something, (then) a great way to make her voice heard is to get involved in some sort of an organization that supports said cause.”
Sacred Hearts Academy welcomes two new teachers at the start of the second semester. Bernadette Rosano and Angela Sanborn take over the roles of teachers who left for personal reasons at the end of last semester.
Rosano is currently teaching former Academy mathematics teacher Melinda Rocha’s Pre-Algebra and Algebra I classes. Rocha relocated to Connecticut with her husband, an active-duty military member.
Rosano comes to the Academy with a strong math background, having received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching degree from the University of Alaska.
Rosano previously taught math and science courses at Kodiak High School in Alaska. She has also taught children after school, where she realized that teaching is what she wanted to pursue.
“I honestly did not know I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “As I was going through school, I was taught that knowledge brings opportunity. I have a passion for learning and spreading that knowledge; (therefore), teaching allows me to do both.”
In her free time, Rosano enjoys rock climbing, snorkeling and photography.
In the Lower School, new teacher Sanborn takes over former Academy teacher Sheila Banigan’s fifth grade math, science and religion classes. Sanborn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Truman State University, a Master’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Washington University.
Sanborn comes to the Academy from St. Louis School, where she was a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) teacher. This role required her to design a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) curricula that allows her students to have a hands-on learning experience with the lessons presented in class.
She has also taught reading and religion to fourth graders at Immaculate Conception Dardenne School in Missouri, her home state.
In addition to her teaching career, Sanborn has also worked as a research molecular biologist for Monsanto Life Sciences in St. Louis, Missouri.
Kristen Tumacder, a 2015 Sacred Hearts Academy graduate, has been prospering in the cybersecurity world.
Tumacder was recently elected as a member of Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC). This is a national competition between college students and professionals from the security industry.
Tumacder is the only female of the 12-member team representing the finest cybersecurity students at RIT.
“I really like being on the team because I get to help everyone out by contributing my Windows defensive skills,” she said. “As a team, we’re really close and we’re almost like family.”
Through her dedication to cybersecurity, Tumacder has been awarded the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Cyber Ops Global Scholarship. The scholarship was designed to encourage young people to consider a cybersecurity profession. According to the scholarship, the number of cyber attacks has been steadily increasing, while the number of industry professionals has been on the decline.
Cisco will offer Tumacder free training and mentoring for when she takes two certification exams in June. If she passes these two tests, she will be certified by Cisco.
In addition, Tumacder accepted a summer internship as a network security intern at The MITRE Corporation. MITRE is a multi-billion dollar nonprofit corporation that operates under federally-funded research; it is also a development center that directly assists the U.S government with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisitions, and systems engineering and integration.
“I really like networking, so I hope I can learn more about networking than from what I just learn in class,” she said. “I hope to get a hands-on experience with this.”
Even after graduating from the Academy, Tumacder finds time to give back by committing to help the school’s CyberPatriot and Robotics teams.
“I have been coming back since I graduated,” she said. “For robotics, I went to the past two year’s kickoff events, where they release the game. For CyberPatriot, I help answer questions during competitions because sometimes the mentors aren’t there and to just support them during this time.”
On Jan. 10, President Barack Obama bid a bittersweet farewell to an emotional crowd in his hometown of Chicago, Ill.
The 44th commander-in-chief’s address discussed political and social achievements of his administration during his two-term presidency; all the while, maintaining an underlying theme of hope and optimism–the same ideals upon which his campaign was founded eight years ago.
Obama began by discussing his experience in office with the American people, stating that it was the people who made him “a better president” and “a better man.”
At one point during his address, the crowd began chanting, “Four more years!”; implying that they wanted him to be their president for another four-year term. Obama replied with a smile, “I can’t do that.”
The first half of the address concentrated on the state of American democracy, including the strides it has made during his administration.
He urged Americans to uphold the ideals of the American Dream and respond to the patriotic call of active citizenship. He also recapitulated how citizens have done so in years past, putting America on the historical map for trailblazers and dreamers.
Obama discussed and rebutted several discussions that have recently come to light. These included “post-racial America,” the dialogue on climate change” and the “self-defeating” selective sorting of facts many have taken on, as an effect of the recent presidential campaign.
“Regardless of the station we occupy,” he said. “We have to try harder.”
In a similar fashion to First Lady Michelle Obama’s final speech, in which she calmed young people’s fears about the upcoming Trump administration, Barack Obama assuaged the anxieties of the American people against terrorism and international rivals.
“Let’s be vigilant but not afraid,” he said.
As a final point, the president urged people to take part in democracy and to be an active voice; not only when there is an election. This, he says, is how democracy and politics will be effective and freedom duly earned, when all people “(accept) the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings.”
Misty-eyed, the president thanked Michelle Obama and his daughters, as well as Vice President Joe Biden for their dedication and support during his presidency.
Following the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, the Obamas plan to remain in Washington, D.C. so that their daughter Sasha can graduate from high school with her class.
They will then continue to live as private citizens. During an interview on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Michelle Obama confirmed she will continue to work on various initiatives. She also said that the president plans to write a book following his time in office.
Despite Americans’ differing views on Obama’s presidency, one aspect remains unquestionable: his administration will go down as one of the most substantial presidencies in history. The continuation of his legacy, however, remains up to the American people.
For the first time, Sacred Hearts Academy’s annual Christmas tree sales were not held on campus but rather, at various locations around Oahu.
Due to the lack of volunteers during previous years, the Academy’s junior division partnered with Habilitat, a long-term rehabilitation center. The center uses tree sale funds to offer student scholarships.
Through the partnership, consumers could pick up trees or wreaths from six different locations. The locations included: Central Middle School, Koko Head Elementary School, Kalaheo High School, Mililani Waena Elementary School, Waimalu Elementary School and Kapolei Kmart.
Proceeds from the tree sales went toward the junior division’s project graduation at the end of the year.
“We’re proud of the money we raised,” junior division advisor Elizabeth Gabriel said.
As Habilitat distributed trees and wreaths, Academy students worked hard on campus. Student and parent volunteers helped with the distribution of poinsettias. They volunteered for up to seven hours over the weekend.
Earlier this month, Sacred Hearts Academy’s band hosted its annual winter concert, which included a variety of Disney and Christmas songs. It also included months of preparation by the students, who were ecstatic to reveal their work to the audience.
For the beginning band, this was their first time performing in public. They played a total of 10 songs, including “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Jingle Bells” and “Rock This Band.”
This was the intermediate band’s second winter concert. They performed “Colors of the Wind” and were also given exciting pieces, such as “Achilles’ Wrath” and “Fantasia.” They ended their section with the Christmas classic, “Merry Christmas, Darling.”
“I liked the music,” said sophomore Sally Do. “It was fun because I never played it before.”
For many of the concert band students, this winter concert marked their first time wearing black dresses. The dresses symbolized the students becoming more skilled in playing their instruments.
They performed Disney songs, “Lilo and Stitch” and “Fantasia 2000,” and closed with two Christmas jingles, including “The 3-Minute Nutcracker” and “Christmas Music For Winds.”
Finally, the Academy’s most advanced level class, the Wind Ensemble, wowed the crowd with exceptional playing.
“I was kind of scared when we came in for (‘Marriage of Figaro Overture’), but I was pretty satisfied,” sophomore Minami Nagahama said.
During the Thanksgiving weekend, a group of seniors paid homage to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary founders by cleaning a local cemetery.
The seniors, enrolled in a “Dying and Rising” theology course, worked at the King Street Catholic Cemetery. It is the final resting place of many influential figures in the congregation’s history, such as Bishop Libert Boeynaems and Mother Judith Brassier. Both were the founders of Sacred Hearts Academy.
Many who are buried in the cemetery came to Hawaii from Europe during the 1800s and 1900s. A Tahitian princess is also interred there. They have no living family members on the islands.
Armed with rakes, weeding tools, trash bags and reverent hearts, students discarded debris scattered around the area and raked fallen leaves. They also uprooted weeds from graves and tombstones.
Along with shovelling foliage into bags, senior Justine Kuna Sison was able to uproot and discard a deep-seated worry.
“I wasn’t sure if it was disrespectful to be in a place where you didn’t know anyone who was buried there,” Sison said. “I realized afterward that you’re okay, as long as you have good intentions.”
Once the graveyard was rid of unwanted greenery and garbage, the class placed red flowers on the gravestones to pay respects and holiday greetings to the deceased.
Sison believes that the tradition of cleaning the cemetery is vital in establishing an appreciation for life and death.
“This service teaches students the significance of someone’s death and how to obtain respect for them,” Sison said.
An estimated 3 million people were at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, including 200 hula dancers and 400 band members from Hawaii.
Of those, Sacred Hearts Academy was well-represented; two students danced hula and a small group marched alongside the Hawaii All State Marching Band.
Dressed in bright red and yellow attire, Junior Emily Wharton and senior Jassirae Ordonez were the Academy students who danced hula in the parade. They are both dancing for a community hula troupe called Na Maka O Pu’uwai Aloha Hula Halau.
Wharton said it was thanks to her hula teacher that she had the opportunity to participate.
“My kumu was invited to help choreograph the hula…but she had been dreaming, for years, to bring her halau to the parade,” Wharton said. After discussing with the parade directors, her teacher’s dream came true, and the hula troupe was officially invited to take part in the Thanksgiving celebration.
For Wharton, it was not only her first time participating in the Macy’s parade but also her first time visiting the east coast.
Trailing behind the band and hula dancers was a special Hawaii-themed float, which brought some island spirit to New York. The float, created by Hilo company King’s Hawaiian, was decorated with giant plumeria flowers and a large volcano, which erupted with confetti.